The Rotor premiered in 1955 in Germany, built by Anton Schwarzkopf and operated by its inventor Ernst W. Hoffmeister of Hamburg. Many were built in quick succession around Europe, North America and Australia by different local companies under license.
In USA, although initially collaborating, makers and operators of Rotors became embroiled in a patent disagreement which appears to have been resolved by assigning the rights to build portable Rotors to the Velare Brothers (under the Hoffmeister patent) and the rights to stationary models to the Anglo Rotor Corporation (under the Myers patent). The Velare’s began touring two Rotors around 1954, while Anglo Rotor placed about five rides in parks as concessions. In 1956, stationary Rotors were located at Kennywood, Coney Island (Ohio), Long Beach, Riverview, and Rockaway’s Playland. To view more information on amusement ride and rollercoaster history, visit Victor Canfield’s well researched Amusement Ride Patents.
In the early 1970’s, Chance went on to manufacture a portable version of the Rotor still found in many US parks; made largely obsolete on the travelling circuit by Wisdom’s modern-day equivalent Gravitron
Like Gravitron, Rotor uses basic centrifugal force to pin its occupants to the outsides of the wooden cylinder. Once the optimum speed is reached and the riders are safely stuck to the wall, the operator (observing from above) lowers the floor, leaving riders high up the wall. As the cylinder gradually slows to a stop, riders slowly slide down the wall eventually landing on the lowered floor.